24-hour rule in effect.
(Reuters) — Somali police said on Saturday that Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, one of Africa’s most wanted al Qaeda operatives, was killed in the capital of the Horn of Africa country earlier this week.
“We have confirmed he was killed by our police at a control checkpoint this week,” Halima Aden, a senior national security officer, told Reuters in Mogadishu.
Mohammed was shot at the checkpoint in an exchange of fire with police, Aden said.
“He had a fake South African passport and of course other documents. After thorough investigation, we confirmed it was him, and then we buried his corpse,” Aden said.
Mohammed was reputed to be the head of al Qaeda in east Africa, and operated in Somalia, which has been without an effective central government since the overthrow of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991.
The United States had offered a $5 million reward for information leading to the capture of the Comorian, who speaks five languages and is said to be a master of disguise, forgery and bomb making.
He is accused of playing a lead role in the 1998 embassy attacks in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, which killed 240 people.
Update via Bill Roggio:
Earlier today, reports emerged that Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, al Qaeda’s leader in East Africa and a senior Shabaab commander, was killed at a Somali military checkpoint in Mogadishu earlier this week [see LWJ report, Al Qaeda’s East Africa chief Fazul Mohammed killed in Somalia: report for more details].
On June 8, Radio Mogadishu published a photograph of one of the two men killed in the June 8 clash at a checkpoint near Mogadishu. Radio Mogadishu initially claimed the man shown in this image was of “Abdurrahman Canadian,” but a Somali official told The Long War Journal that the man pictured is Fazul Abdullah Mohammed. The photographs below are republished from Radio Mogadishu’s website. You can see what is believed to be the body of Fazul, his new SUV with tinted windows that was shot up by Somali troops, and his AK-47 and body armor.
US officials have confirmed that he was killed.